If there was an operative word to describe the spectacle Saturday night at Madison Square Garden, it was this: Duck!
Chicago Blackhawks coach Luke Richardson took a stray puck to the head in the first period and left temporarily.
Richardson held a towel to his head before exiting midway through the period. Derek King, the Hawks interim coach last season, took over the bench.
Meanwhile, Jujhar Khaira and Jacob Trouba rekindled their feud and threw punches after Trouba took out Jason Dickinson with a check early in the second period.
Khaira and Trouba likely have had bad blood since Trouba’s hard check to Khaira nearly a year ago knocked him unconscious and resulted in him being hospitalized for a night.
Trouba was at it again with less than three minutes left in the second when he clotheslined Andreas Athanasiou.
Jonathan Toews went after Trouba, and Connor Murphy exchanged blows with Barclay Goodrow. Toews was issued a misconduct penalty for instigating, resulting in his ejection.
Overshadowed by all this is the fact the Hawks beat the Rangers 5-2 to snap an eight-game winless streak.
Better still, they went 3-of-4 on the power play.
The Hawks had the jump on the Rangers from the start.
Reese Johnson tipped in Jake McCabe’s shot 2 minutes, 38 seconds into the game. In the second, the Hawks cashed in on back-to-back penalties by Mika Zibanejad (slashing) and ex-Hawk Ryan Carpenter (hooking).
Patrick Kane scored on the 5-on-3 advantage and then he and Seth Jones assisted Max Domi on a 5-on-4 a minute later.
Trouba’s wake-up hit and Toews’ subsequent penalty energized the Rangers, and Zibanejad scored on the power play.
But the Hawks took advantage of their fourth power play, with Taylor Raddysh redirecting Kane’s long-range shot. It was Kane’s third point of the night and 1,200th of his career.
Regarding milestones, Toews passed Bobby Hull for fifth place in franchise history with 1,037 games.
The Rangers added a goal from Chris Kreider with 2:45 left after pulling goalie Jaroslav Halák during a 4-on-4.
Domi capped the scoring with an empty-netter with 1:14 left
Petr Mrázek had 21 saves.